low starting SG

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

chuckb

Junior
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
decided to get back into winemaking now that I'm retired. Forgot a lot in the 10 + yrs. since I done it.long story,short started a batch of tomatoe and a batch of watermelon. I used recipes online, but the fermentation seemed to stick after a couple of weeks, Thought it was high temps (100-110) outside,probably close to that in my shop. Checked SG 990 and 995, realized it was only 1000 and 1010 at start.I had added 5# sugar at start as per recipes. Any Suggestions?
 

NorCal

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
3,334
Reaction score
3,724
Location
Sierra Foothills, Nor Cal
Welcome back!

I'm a bit confused. Your starting SG was 1000 and 1010 (I assume you mean 1.100 and 1.101). That will get you 14% ABV, which is plenty. If you are reading .990, .995, your wine is dry and it's time to rack.
 
Last edited:

wineforfun

Still Trying To Make The Perfect Wine and Now Tryi
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
2,707
Reaction score
896
decided to get back into winemaking now that I'm retired. Forgot a lot in the 10 + yrs. since I done it.long story,short started a batch of tomatoe and a batch of watermelon. I used recipes online, but the fermentation seemed to stick after a couple of weeks, Thought it was high temps (100-110) outside,probably close to that in my shop. Checked SG 990 and 995, realized it was only 1000 and 1010 at start.I had added 5# sugar at start as per recipes. Any Suggestions?
What size batches are these? 1 gal.? Guarantee with 5# sugar, you are wayyyyyy higher than 1.000. Even with a 5-6 gal. batch, you should have been at least 1.040 - 1.060.

I would tend to agree with NorCal though, OG was probably 1.100'ish.
 

chuckb

Junior
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
these are 5 gal. batches and the sg according to my notes were 1.000 and 1.010 there was actually 12# sugar added to each batch fermentation stopped after 2 wks.
 

wineforfun

Still Trying To Make The Perfect Wine and Now Tryi
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
2,707
Reaction score
896
these are 5 gal. batches and the sg according to my notes were 1.000 and 1.010 there was actually 12# sugar added to each batch fermentation stopped after 2 wks.
Something just doesn't add up. If you added 12# sugar to each 5 gal. batch. SG would/should have been much higher than 1.010.
Hydrometer calibrated?
Was the must too warm/cold for accurate reading?
 

chuckb

Junior
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
not sure about calibration or how to do it.temp of must was probably 90 degrees or more. If I wrote down the starting SG wrong would it still ferment out in 2 wks?
 

cmason1957

CRS Sufferer
WMT Supporter
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
4,414
Reaction score
4,261
Location
O'Fallon, MO - Just NorthWest of St. Louis, MO
Fermentation times of 2 weeks are about normal.
I just ran a quick calculation (http://web2.airmail.net/sgross/fermcalc/FermCalcJS.html) and started at Sg of 1.000 (water) added 12 lbs of sugar to 5 gallons and ended up with an SG of 1.095, so I am pretty sure you misread your initial SF or wrote it down incorrectly. Any fruit gives up some sugar, so it would have been higher than 1.010 and probably a bit higher than 1.100 to start.

Have you tasted it? Does it taste like there is any alcohol in there. 1.095 gives you about 13% alcohol.
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
12,282
Reaction score
11,581
Location
near Milwaukee
Here is a good video to give a visual of how to read a hydrometer:

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty7PAJaBsts"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty7PAJaBsts[/ame]
 

wineforfun

Still Trying To Make The Perfect Wine and Now Tryi
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
2,707
Reaction score
896
not sure about calibration or how to do it.temp of must was probably 90 degrees or more. If I wrote down the starting SG wrong would it still ferment out in 2 wks?
As cmason stated, 2 weeks is plenty of time to ferment out. I think the issue we are all having is with the starting SG.
Also as mentioned, I am guessing you read the hydrometer wrong or something because 12# of sugar is going to make adequate alcohol.

If it were me, I would rack it(if you haven't already), add kmeta(if you haven't already) and start clearing it. Once cleared, add sorbate and backsweeten to your particular liking. With those two wines, I would guess somewhere around 1.008 - 1.012.
 

garymc

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
961
Reaction score
216
Here's a web page that explains a lot about the use of a hydrometer and has charts that show what a given amount of sugar added to a volume of liquid would yield in alcohol and what a given amount of sugar contained in a volume of liquid would yield. The chart is for one gallon volume. So 12 pounds divided by 5 gallons is 2 pounds, 6.4 ounces per gallon. This would be just over 14.9% alcohol. This is reading the chart for you having 5 gallons of liquid with 12 pounds of sugar already in it. Craig's calculation (I didn't look at how it was done) may have been taking 5 gallons of liquid and adding 12 pounds, which would give you a volume greater than 5 gallons and a lower sg and alcohol. Any way you slice it, 12 pounds of sugar makes for a hot 5 gallons. The sugar that was already in your tomato and watermelon juice would be on top of these amounts. Further, if you fermented it below 1.000 (and that's very likely unless your yeast poops out at 1.000) you can get another percent or so of alcohol. The second chart below the big one shows you how to estimate that. http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/hydrom.asp
 
Last edited:
Top